Monday December 6 2010
Lecce divided over Diamoutene

Lecce President Pierandrea Semeraro and Coach Gigi De Canio have offered contrasting reasons why Souleymane Diamoutene was left out on Sunday.

A section of the club's ultras had attacked Diamoutene at Lecce's training ground on Thursday afternoon, imploring De Canio not to play the Mali international centre-back because he made three appearances for fierce local rivals Bari during a loan spell last season.

Diamountene asked De Canio to be strong and stand up to the ultras, admitting that the worst thing that could happen would be if he ended up on the bench against Genoa.

However, that's just what happened, sparking a degree of outrage in the Italian media.

When asked why Diamoutene had been benched, Semeraro said: "Right now we must all be very united."

He later revealed that the decision had been taken partly to avoid a protest from the ultras.

However, De Canio offered a contrasting opinion, reminding the media that Diamoutene had only returned to the starting line up as a stop-gap in the first place.

"In Udine in the Coppa Italia the defender also played with the captain's armband, but his performance didn't satisfy me," De Canio said.

"Having got back Ferrario, Gustavo and also Rispoli, I preferred to leave him out.

"I am sorry about what happened on a human level, but I must only think about the good of the team," he concluded.